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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

A year ago today, Apple made AirPods Max available to purchase a week after announcing its first over-ear headphones via a press release on its website.


AirPods Max are Apple's first AirPods branded over-ear headphones and are undoubtedly a premium option for customers looking for over-ear headphones in the market. Rumors had initially indicated the headphones would be called "AirPods Studio," and their launch was deemed "imminent" for the majority of 2020.

AirPods Max feature a knit mesh canopy that's flexible to fit various head sizes. The headphones themselves are entirely metal, resulting in a heavy overall footprint. AirPods Max come in five colors: silver, space gray, pink, green, and sky blue.


Borrowing innovations from the Apple Watch, AirPods Max feature a Digital Crown for volume adjustment and a press to invoke Siri, as well as a Side Button for toggling on or off Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency Mode. Like all AirPods and select Beats headphones, AirPods Max feature Apple's H1 chip, which powers tight integration with Apple devices, such as easy pairing and automatic device switching.


Priced at $549, AirPods Max are not an inexpensive purchase for customers, and other options such as Apple's own Beats line offer significantly more affordable over-ear headphones. Along with their hefty price tag, however, reviews of AirPods Max have been favorable, applauding the headphones for being "more than enough to compete with other high-end headphones."

AirPods Max have received some criticism, though, for the design of the "Smart Case" and poor battery life, the latter of which was patched by Apple in a software update.


AirPods Max initially saw very high demand that saw shipping estimates stretch out into months, but since the initial backlog was cleared, they've become much more readily available with third-party retailers sometimes even offering even discounts of $100 or more.

Article Link: AirPods Max Launched One Year Ago Today


macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2020
And I bought them 1 month ago. The best wireless Over The Ear headphones that I ever used. They done a lot of final touches thru the year with the Software. So I think the sound quality specially over VoIP is amazingly good + ANC and Transparency mode is just 10/10.

And to be clear - if you compare Spotify with max sound quality vs Apple Music with lossless quality you year a difference. Even dough it's not maxed out lossless it still sounds more clear and crisp on the air Pods Max.

I tested all quality levels on Apple Music and Spotify. Apple Music sounds better in general but with lossless even with BT it sounds better.

And lets not forget the All Apple OS:s echo system which AirPods Max is part of. I don't care if Seinheiser or BO got little better sound with cable HEADPHONES.

IT'S ABOUT the whole echo system experience if you are Apple user Then the Airpods Max is the best choice.

And let's not forget Spatial Audio technology. With iPhone / iPad / Apple TV / Mb's / FaceTime Audio calls / even the clubhouse app supports it.

This is just amazingly good. And I bought it from Amazon on black Friday so for me this is worth the money.

The only minus is the case and that you can control when to turn them off or on.
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macrumors member
Feb 13, 2013
I could swallow the price point on these things if they offered wireless lossless support. However, without that, they are just such overpriced garbage. For half the cost the Sony's, Bose, etc. all perform on par, if not better. Further, these are not portable at all. At least with the other brands they fold into something smaller and easier to pack into your travel bag.

The only game changer Apple could provide here is true wireless lossless support with iOS devices by offer a direct link via WIFI or something.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2016
San Jose
Understatement of the year.

And the story is really a non story/slow news day.

“AirPods Max are not an inexpensive purchase for customers…”

A person I know loves to describe things as “not insignificant,” “not unimportant,” “not inexpensive,” and on and on. Really annoying way to talk or write. Just call the AirPods Max “expensive relative to ____.”
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macrumors member
Feb 13, 2013
They don’t even sound that good lol AirPods Pro to me sound better and don’t have that massive bulk over your head the product was dead on arrival
Numerous objective tests have shown both the ANC and sound quality delivery are worse compared to pretty much every other competing set of wireless ANC headphones in the category, and all of these competing headphones are at least $200 cheaper.

I'm still dumbfounded Apple didn't use these along with their iTunes lossless upgrade to at least offer a device with true lossless over wireless. People would have been willing to swallow the $200 premium and the fact that they are less portable.


macrumors regular
Jun 12, 2012
It took several months for the AirPods Max to be available in my country, so I had some time to think about the purchase.

Because of the price, I had apprehensions, so I decided to wait for reviews, which eventually turned out to be very favorable. I was on the fence about buying them for a very long time.

When the AirPods Max finally became available in May, I jumped at the chance. It was almost an impulse buy, but I don’t regret it one bit.

The build is great, and I am loving its sonic signature. Clear and smooth highs without being shrill, and rich and deep lows without being too overpowering.

It’s also my first product with ANC, and I am very happy with its implementation.

Honestly, my only real complaint about it is the price [and the occasional bug introduced by a firmware update that gets patched anyway].

But do I regret paying full price for this? Absolutely not. I’ve used it every day since, and not once did I regret it.


macrumors newbie
May 22, 2021
I forgot to buy AppleCare for them and spilt coffee all over them... :\ Still work, though!

I will say, they are built really well and sound good.My ears do get sweaty after a while. Are they worth the price for being part of the Apple ecosystem? at $800 CAD that's up for debate.

Spacial audio is neat and all but in OS X not everything supports it. At this point spacial audio is mostly a nice side perk.
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macrumors 68000
Mar 3, 2004
UK, Europe


Behold, the rumoured Apple Watch Extreme* (😉):
  • Deeper case to allow for thicker, more durable crystal
  • Cushioned, hinged cover to protect display from dirt and scratches (taking inspiration from pocket watches of yore)
  • Colour-matched roll bar to deflect impact during extreme sports
  • Digital Crown and side button from Apple Watch, enlarged to make interaction easier
* Apple Watch bands sold separately


macrumors member
Feb 13, 2013
People wanna love them to justify the price they paid
When you've got people saying they've never even used other ANC cans before.. It's all you need to know.

I'm glad these people are happy, but it's mind-numbing how people will just buy it apparently without doing any level of cross-comparison or they do, and decide they'll just bend over and let Apple have the $200 premium.

With how bulky these things are, I also wonder how many people are just using these in a home/desktop environment where they'd be far better served with other $550 offerings on the market that don't need to attempt to be portable.
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